Well! How do you like THAT! Reality TV has gotten me again. But THIS time the underdog character, the sort of unhip, laughable, ponytailed side-character… the unimportant one if you will, has COMPLETELY STOLEN THE SHOW!
At least for me.
The Kardashians, God love ’em, have built this huge multi-media empire on the most frivolous and transient subjects: fashion, beauty, club appearances, flying around the world, and like, hair extensions. (Don’t get me wrong, I love ALL those Hot Topics and they ALL have their place in life, but the Ks take on things is so wispy thin and insubstantial as to just be, like, well… it doesn’t take up ANY space in your brain.)
So this whole time, apparently all 8 years that this show has been on the air, the emotional tone has been self-absorbed, glib, occasionally vulgar, and very, very insular. Most of the scenes are filmed in one of their huge houses in So California, and involves their latest marital or professional escapades, and they all seem to live in just their own little worlds of wealth, access, and entitlement. And the whole MACHINE runs on moving through things FAST… they will have a meltdown-y melodramatic moment about something and then, as they like to say repeatedly “It’s, like, SOOO time to move on.”
Now a storyline has emerged that, like, nobody saw coming. One that is so big, so freakin important that they have had to have TWO special episodes and a Diane Sawyer interview just to cope with! The patriarch of this entrepreneurial clan, the out-of-step but likeable Dad, will soon be living publicly as a WOMAN!!!!
Now I am old enough to remember Bruce Jenner on the Wheaties box. Arguably, one of THE top male athletes of our time. OLYMPIC athlete in all those intense and uber-masculine events. (I mean discus throwing?? Who even DOES that?) He is so familiar in THAT arena that this news really throws you back.
And the fascinating thing to watch is the juxtaposition of this Superficial Franchise Operation dealing with such a… well, let’s be honest, WTF kind of situation. Because they’ve had to show, like, REAL EMOTION. And tolerance. Not to mention delicacy!
All the Kardashian/Jenner kids obviously adore Bruce, and he gets so tickled and excited when talking about his future… letting his hair grow, painting his nails, putting on cute clothes… he is SWEET and SINCERE and GOOFY and… well…it is like, SO MOVING! This man that we all thought we knew… we had a category for him: All-American Olympic Hero… he has been living with a huge and painful secret his WHOLE LIFE… and now, at the age of 65, he has the courage to change everything about himself… well I just thought to myself:
“Huh! So the REAL story of the Kardashians has been going on between-the-lines and off-camera this whole freakin time!”
Wow. Good luck Bruce… we’ll try to Keep Up…